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AVL and Key Project Partners Develop Highly Efficient and Inexpensive Hydrogen Fuel Cell Drive System

By April 15, 2020 7   min read  (1334 words)

April 15, 2020 |

AVL Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Graz – Under the leadership and coordination of AVL, together with the industrial partners ElringKlinger, Hörbiger and Magna, the research partners TU Graz, TU Vienna and HyCentA as well as the KMU IESTA within the framework of the research project Keytech4EV supported by the climate and energy fund (stands for key technology for electric vehicles) developed a highly efficient and inexpensive hydrogen fuel cell drive system and integrated it into a demonstration vehicle.

As part of the Keytech4EV project , a consortium headed by AVL has developed a hybrid fuel cell battery drive for a demonstration vehicle with particular attention to energy efficiency and cost savings. Supported by the Climate and Energy Fund, this lighthouse project has now been successfully completed after three years of intensive research.

The Keytech4EV project (basically stands for key technology for electric vehicles) pursues the overarching goal of a highly efficient, cost-optimized and CO2-free drive concept based on hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology.

Innovative combination of two technologies

Vehicles represent the current state of the art on the one hand with large fuel cell systems and very small buffer batteries and on the other hand with purely battery-electrical systems. The innovative approach of the Keytech4EV project is the combination of both technologies in a hybridized overall system using all possible synergies. Preliminary studies have shown that such a fuel cell-battery hybrid system significantly reduces the drive system costs compared to pure fuel cell systems as well as pure battery solutions and at the same time all requirements (efficiency, driving behavior, etc.) can be better met. In addition, the fuel cell battery hybrid offers the advantage of a long-range and short refueling times – ie

Strongly integrated project and parallel research work

The Keytech4EV project was a horizontally and vertically strongly integrated project led by an industrial drive system developer (AVL) in cooperation with component and subsystem manufacturers (Hörbiger, Magna, ElringKlinger), research institutions (TU Graz, TU Vienna, HyCentA) and the small company IESTA. The project was started with a joint concept development and then led in parallel research work to the development of central core technologies for this drive system.

The Hoerbiger company developed the hydrogen injection valve and developed the passive hydrogen recirculation together with HyCentA. Magna developed a hydrogen tank for the center tunnel and supplied the hydrogen tank system for the vehicle. The HyCentA took over the calculation and simulation of refueling processes. The ElringKlinger company further developed their fuel cell platform to achieve 70 kW fuel cell output. The Graz University of Technology supported the lifetime tests. AVL developed the entire fuel cell system including its control system and, together with IESTA, the fuel cell cooling system. The Vienna University of Technology took over the model development for the condition monitoring of the fuel cell during operation.

Ultimately, all core technologies & vehicle systems were integrated and validated by AVL.

The final project goal was the development of a hybridized fuel cell battery demonstration vehicle. The following goals are to be demonstrated with the full mid-range vehicle:

  • Energy efficiency corresponding to the fuel consumption of 2.5 L / 100 km petrol of a C / D mid-range vehicle
  • Reduction in powertrain costs
  • No CO2 emissions
  • Range> 500km
  • Driveability like comparable series vehicles

Another key motivation for this project was the contribution to the creation of a national / European value chain for fuel cell technology. The innovation and market-oriented goals of this project are underlined by the participation of five large global car manufacturers as associated project partners.

About AVL List GmbH

AVL Hydrogen Fuel Cell DemonstratorAVL is the world’s largest independent company for the development, simulation and testing of drive systems (hybrid, internal combustion engine, transmission, electric drive, batteries, fuel cell and control technology) for cars, commercial vehicles, stationary engines, large engines and their integration into the vehicle. AVL employs over 10,400 people worldwide. In 2018, sales were 1.75 billion euros.

About the energy research and innovation programs of the Climate and Energy Fund

The energy research and innovation programs of the Climate and Energy Fund are central instruments for the implementation of the Austrian Federal Government’s National Energy and Climate Plan. In doing so, they make a significant contribution to Austria’s long-term economic success. since

In 2007, the Climate and Energy Fund, in cooperation with the Ministry of Infrastructure, invested around 400 million euros in more than 800 energy and mobility research projects. The strategy is aimed at technologies with high growth potential at home and abroad. As a one-stop shop, the climate and energy fund supports the entire innovation process from research to demonstration with instruments for research and environmental funding.

Strongly integrated project and parallel research work

The Keytech4EV project was a horizontally and vertically strongly integrated project led by an industrial drive system developer (AVL) in cooperation with component and subsystem manufacturers (Hörbiger, Magna, ElringKlinger), research institutions (TU Graz, TU Vienna, HyCentA) and the small company IESTA. The project was started with a joint concept development and then led in parallel research work to the development of central core technologies for this drive system.

The Hoerbiger company developed the hydrogen injection valve and developed the passive hydrogen recirculation together with HyCentA. Magna developed a hydrogen tank for the center tunnel and supplied the hydrogen tank system for the vehicle. The HyCentA took over the calculation and simulation of refueling processes. The ElringKlinger company further developed their fuel cell platform to achieve 70 kW fuel cell output. The Graz University of Technology supported the lifetime tests. AVL developed the entire fuel cell system including its control system and, together with IESTA, the fuel cell cooling system. The Vienna University of Technology took over the model development for the condition monitoring of the fuel cell during operation.

Ultimately, all core technologies at system and vehicle level were integrated and validated by AVL.

The final project goal was the development of a hybridized fuel cell battery demonstration vehicle. The following goals are to be demonstrated with the full mid-range vehicle:

  • Energy efficiency corresponding to the fuel consumption of 2.5 L / 100 km petrol of a C / D mid-range vehicle
  • Reduction in powertrain costs
  • No CO2 emissions
  • Range> 500km
  • Driveability like comparable series vehicles

Another key motivation for this project was the contribution to the creation of a national / European value chain for fuel cell technology. The innovation and market-oriented goals of this project are underlined by the participation of five large global car manufacturers as associated project partners.

Federal Minister Leonore Gewessler

“My aspiration is: Mobility must be emission-free. This is the only way we can achieve our energy and climate goals. This means that research must also deal intensively with the topic. The project team has proven that domestic innovations can make an important contribution to this challenge. I would like to thank the entire team very much for their commitment and innovative strength and the climate and energy fund as a competent partner of bmvit. “

Prof. Helmut List, CEO AVL

The electrification of the vehicle drive is crucial for future CO2-neutral traffic. Fuel cell systems for electric cars and commercial vehicles as efficient and clean energy converters from hydrogen to electricity will become increasingly important since hydrogen fuel cell vehicles enable CO2-free mobility, long ranges and short refueling times. Thanks to the novel combination of the fuel cell with a deliberately larger battery, the project succeeded in taking a large step towards high efficiency, attractive driving behavior and good cost balance with this first Austrian fuel cell vehicle in the form of a fuel cell-battery hybrid.

Theresia Vogel, climate and energy fund

If the domestic automotive industry wants to continue to survive in global competition, then it is important to bring innovative technologies ‘made in Austria’ to the market quickly. When it comes to emission-free mobility, green hydrogen will also play a role internationally – this is about the efficiency and range that must be achieved. Projects like this, which we support with our energy research program, secure Austria as an industrial location and help to achieve the European climate

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